Tue07292014

LAST_UPDATETue, 29 Jul 2014 10pm

Pilots Of Air Algerie Jet Asked To Turn Back: France

Pic: AFPFrance said Monday the pilots of the Air Algerie passenger plane that crashed in Mali, killing all 118 people on board, had asked to turn back, in a new development to a tough probe into the tragedy.

Read more: Pilots Of Air Algerie Jet Asked To Turn Back: France

China, Indonesia To Improve Defence Ties

Indonesian militaryChina has moved to expand defence and strategic ties with Indonesia three days after the Southeast Asian country announced Joko Widodo as its new president.

Following talks in Jakarta on 25 July between Indonesia's vice-president Boediono and General Fan Changlong, the vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, a joint statement said the two countries are "determined to … push forward their bilateral strategic partnership".

Read more: China, Indonesia To Improve Defence Ties

Thailand's Asia Aviation 2014 Passenger Target Revised.

Thai AviationBANGKOK: Thailand's Asia Aviation Pcl has lowered the year's passenger target for budget carrier Thai AirAsia to 12.6 million from 13.3 million due to the impact of the country's political crisis.

Thai AirAsia, like other domestic carriers, suffered a slowdown in inbound tourists since the onset of anti-government protests late last year. Advanced booking numbers have only recently started to rise since the assumption of military rule.

According to news agency Rueters, expectations of fewer passengers, however, prompted the carrier to take delivery of just five aircraft this year from a targeted eight, Director of Commercial Operations Suntisuk Klongchaiya told reporters on Monday.

The airline's cabin factor - the proportion of available seats sold - could be more than 80 percent but is unlikely to exceed the 83 percent of last year, Suntisuk said.

"Passenger growth was cut down to 15-20 percent from an earlier target of 30 percent as we faced a drop in passenger numbers especially from China in the first two quarters."

Even so, the number of Chinese passengers is likely to rise 20 percent this year, Suntisuk said.

Thai AirAsia planned to open two routes to China where demand could increase after the military government waived visa fees for travellers from China and Taiwan for three months.

Routes to China carry about 20 percent of the airline's total passengers, Suntisuk said.

Shares of Asia Aviation were 0.4 percent higher at the midday break, compared with a 0.4 percent decline in the benchmark index.


-- Reuters

 

Student Survivors Testify In Korea Ferry Trial

Pic: AFP/Getty ImagesANSAN: Teenaged student survivors of South Korea’s ferry disaster began giving video testimony under tight security today in the murder trial of the vessel’s captain and crew.

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Un Secretary-General Renews Appeal For Weeklong Ceasefire In Gaza

Pic: Gallo ImagesNEW YORK: United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, who returned from a six-day tour of a number of Middle Eastern countries, welcomed the 12-hour ceasefire in the Gaza conflict allowing access to volunteers to provide urgent humanitarian relief assistance.

Read more: Un Secretary-General Renews Appeal For Weeklong Ceasefire In Gaza

Plane Crash-Lands On US Beach Killing Father And Injuring Daughter

Pic: AFPA small plane crash-landed on a beach in the US state of Florida on Sunday, killing a father and critically injuring his young daughter.

Read more: Plane Crash-Lands On US Beach Killing Father And Injuring Daughter

Foreigners Urged To Leave Libya Amid Rising Violence

Pic: AFPEgypt and several Western states urged their nationals to leave Libya amid spiralling violence after two weeks of fighting left 97 people dead and a warning by state-owned National Oil Corp of a major disaster after a fuel tank was hit.

Read more: Foreigners Urged To Leave Libya Amid Rising Violence

Israel-Gaza Conflict: Obama And Pope Call For Peace As Child Death Toll Rises

Pic:  AFP/ GettyImagesPresident Barack Obama has urged Israel to halt the Gaza offensive immediately, as new figures showed that 218 Palestinian children have been killed in the conflict so far.

Read more: Israel-Gaza Conflict: Obama And Pope Call For Peace As Child Death Toll Rises

Fighting In Gaza Abates, But Truce Hopes Look Fragile

Pic: ReutersFighting subsided in Gaza on Sunday after Hamas Islamist militants said they backed a 24-hour humanitarian truce and U.S. President Barack Obama called for a ceasefire but there was no sign of any comprehensive deal to end fighting with Israel.

Read more: Fighting In Gaza Abates, But Truce Hopes Look Fragile

Liberia Shuts Border Crossings To Curb Ebola Spreading

Pic: ReuteresThe Liberian government on Sunday closed most of the West African nation's border crossings and introduced stringent health measures to curb the spread of the deadly Ebola virus that has killed at least 660 people across the region.

Read more: Liberia Shuts Border Crossings To Curb Ebola Spreading